The unveiling of a new Pope isn't the only thing that Italy is introducing the world as Princess Cruises floats out the second of their two new ships in Fincantieri yard in Monfalcone.
"The 3,560-passenger Regal Princess is one of the last major milestones before the vessel's debut in 2014," stated USA Today.
"This is a very, very exciting day for us at Princess Cruises," Princess executive vice president for fleet operations Rai Caluori said during a dockside ceremony to mark the beginning of the float out process. "In little more than just a year, the superstructure that you see behind us will have been transformed into another spectacular member of the Princess fleet," according to USA Today.
The ceremony, which was attended by by Princess executives and hundreds of Fincantieri workers included a traditional blessing of the vessel by a Catholic priest and the breaking of a champagne bottle against its hull.
The Regal Princess is the sister ship of the Royal Princess, which is also under construction at the Fincantieri yard in Monfalcone and debuts in June.
At 141,000 tons, the two Princess cruise ships are the largest ever built in Italy, just barely beating out several Carnival vessels constructed at Fincantieri yard.
The completion of these two ships will give Princess Cruises their first new ships in nearly five years and part of a new class of vessel at the line.
In fact, they are about 20 percent larger than previous Princess ships, and each exhibit, according to USA Today, "a cantilevered, glass-enclosed walkway over the ocean called a SeaWalk, a deck-top water and light show and a number of other new-for-the-line features."
The first voyage of the Royal Princess is set for June 16 in the Mediterranean, it is where the ship will spend the summer season before repositioning to the Caribbean. The Regal Princess is scheduled to debut in June 2014.
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